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the Cairns Aquarium has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission by the Queensland government on allegations that it misused coronavirus funding support.

The Aquarium’s executive director said he was “absolutely furious and disgusted” after receiving a letter yesterday stating that a $ 3.5 million government support grant he had received would be revoked.

“The government has alleged allegations that are completely false,” said Cairns Aquarium CEO Daniel Leipnik.

“We have referred them to our legal team.”

Cairns Aquarium Executive Director Daniel Daniel Leipnik. (Nine)
the North Queensland The company is accused of using the money to make payments to related entities, a political party and to buy a new vehicle.

But Leipnik denied the claims, saying the purchases were made at its own operating costs.

“The Cairns Aquarium has been generating revenue since we opened on June 27,” he said.

“We have used some of that income from our own trade to buy some items that the state government has objected to.”

The company has been referred to the CCC on allegations that it misused funds to support the coronavirus. (Nine)

Donation disclosures from the Queensland Elections Commission show that the aquarium made a $ 10,000 contribution to the Queensland Labor Party on August 8, 2020, after making donations to the LNP QLD Party in previous years.

Mr. Leiptik defended himself from making the payments and said that no grant money was used.

“We really believe in our federal deputies or their candidates,” he said.

“Our support for Labor and Liberal is designed to send a message to these MPs that the tourism industry stands behind them so that they can have some confidence to support the tourism industry.”

The aquarium has referred the matter to its lawyers. (Nine)

Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles says the government has a responsibility to ensure that grants are used properly and has confirmed that Queensland Labor has repaid the donation.

Shadow Finance Minister Jarrod Bleijie said Labor had “messed up” the process for delivering COVID-19 grants.

“If the taxpayer is funding to keep an operation afloat, a tourism operation afloat, I would expect that money to be spent where it is supposed to go through the grant process,” he said.

“The Labor Party that is doing what it is doing today is really calling marijuana: it’s their problem, it’s their failure.

The aquarium has referred the matter to its lawyers.


www.9news.com.au

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